RCL Post 2

In the article, “New CAPS resources focus on student empowerment,” Penn State news reveals that CAPS has created new resources to help students feel comfortable with who they are.  CAPS has created text and call lines and assessments for students online to be treated in a faster way.  WellTreck is a wellness assessment that students take to help them understand what activities make them feel better or worse.  From this new addition, students can realize the patterns in their life that bring joy as well as stress.  Students use WellTreck by themselves or with other counseling.  In addition, CAPS provides two crisis lines that are available any day and time.  Students are able to speak to someone in the middle of a panic attack or if they are thinking of hurting themselves.  Life Hacks is another addition that CAPS has initiated.  Life Hacks sessions include group discussion to help students deal with stress and anxiety.  These are beneficial because students can understand that they are not the only ones who feel isolated or alone.

Another article that discusses mental health at Penn State, “CAPS Chat program puts counselors where the students are, also emphasizes the importance of mental health and stresses the various resources provided by CAPS.  A new program was created in 2016 to place counselors in South Halls where they offer CAPS Chat.  CAPS Chat is a safe way to talk with counselors informally and feel supported by the Penn State community.  These meetings can discuss topics such as adjusting to college, family problems, stress, anxiety, or academic pressures.

These articles will be beneficial in the deliberation discussion because they discuss the services that CAPS provides.  These articles are very informative and allow their readers to recognize the importance of mental health on college campuses.  These articles would be beneficial for first year students at Penn State because they discuss the benefits that CAPS offers its students.  By knowing about the advantages of CAPS, students will learn that seeking help from CAPS could be very effective.

Works Cited

“CAPS Chat program puts counselors where the students are.” (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, http://news.psu.edu/story/423568/2016/08/31/campus-life/caps-chat-program-puts-counselors-where-students-are

Curley, C. (n.d.). “New CAPS resources focus on student empowerment.” Retrieved February 14, 2018, http://news.psu.edu/story/495703/2017/11/27/campus-life/new-caps-resources-focus-student-empowerment

RCL Post 1

My group’s deliberation title is “State of Mind.”  For our deliberation, we are focusing on the issue of failing to address mental health issues on campus.  Increasing mental health awareness and improving treatment for individuals with mental health disorders is important for college campuses.  These issues are triggered and worsened by the stress and anxiety that college adds to our lives.  Since mental health issues affect so many college students, our group created suggestions to improve treatment for individuals for our deliberation.  Our ideas include improving CAPS, creating an accepting and understanding environment, and promoting general education about mental health disorders.

My role is to research approach one, which is the ways to improve CAPS.  Pritika and I contacted a counselor from CAPS, and we want to interview him or her in the future to gather more information about the services that CAPS provides Penn State students.  We will be asking the person we interview about the mission of CAPS, the free visits offered to students, the number of students that utilize CAPS’ services every year, the services used by most students, whether CAPS will transfer students to outside sources, and the reasons behind students from failing to seek help from CAPS.

Pritika and I are currently examining CAPS’ website to learn more about its benefits.  We learned that CAPS provides individual, group, and couples counseling to its patients.  We also learned that CAPS provides help with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.  CAPS has physicians, dietitians, and mental health providers that work together to help patients with eating disorders or body image issues.  Our goal is to implement changes that will enable students to know more about CAPS.  For example, during New Student Orientation or freshman seminar, all students should actually visit CAPS to hear a counselor speak about the help that this resource provides.  Many students do not know the location of CAPS or about the free visits that CAPS initially offers.  We believe that if students actually went to CAPS and spoke to a counselor, then they would be more likely to utilize its resources.

Kevin’s Legacy


On the day of my AP biology final exam my senior  year of high school, I could barely contain my anxiety.  I felt butterflies twisting and turning in my stomach as I walked into the front doors of my school.  As I walked down the hallway, I noticed pictures of girls with bright and glistening smiles at their graduation.  I thought to myself, “If they can do it, so can I.”  However, as I walked into the classroom to complete my final exam, my confidence dwindled.  I sat in the very front row because looking at people taking their test in front of me is very distracting.  While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I sat quietly at my desk with my mind racing.  My anxiety took over and prevented me from focusing on doing my best.  Instead of motivating myself and reassuring myself that I studied hard enough, I kept thinking if only I had an extra day to study, if only I took regular biology, if only I did not care about this class.  Once I started fabricating “what if” scenarios, I knew I needed to take a deep breath.  

When my hands stopped shaking, I took both sleeves of the sweatshirt I was wearing and wrapped them around my fingers.  I started to calm down because I remembered what sweatshirt I was wearing.  The words, CHA football, glistened on this sweatshirt, while the sun beamed off of them from the window.  Once I looked down and saw the glowing letters on my sweatshirt, a sudden sense of peace filled my body.  This sweatshirt is my source of comfort, my source of serenity, and my source of hope.  When I wear this sweatshirt, I not only think but I know that my older brother, Kevin, is always watching over me. 

My brother tragically drowned in the pool in my backyard during my brother and sister’s birthday party on June 8, 2012. That day, I not only lost my big brother, but I also lost my best friend, my hero, and my protector.  Everytime I think about this traumatic day in my life, I think about the meaning of my brother’s life.  Kevin had a brain tumor, when he was five years old.  The doctors told my dad that he would not be able to walk again let alone run.  By living with immense positivity, Kevin never let his disabilities prevent him from competing.  As a boy with no fear, he never passed up the opportunity to try out for a team.  Walking and running with a limp, never being the fastest, and never being picked first did not deter Kevin from doing what he loved.  Defeating all odds, Kevin persevered through his hardships and received an athletic scholarship to play football for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, which is embodied through Kevin’s navy blue sweatshirt.  

Although I have struggled the past six years, I have gained strength.  I am able to use this strength to help others who have endured similar challenges.  Even though these hardships in my life have caused an immense amount of pain, they have also provided me with unique perspectives.  I stress less about the unimportant aspects of life, I know that feelings of despair and anger are temporary, and I am more sensitive to those who are vulnerable as a result of hardships.

Kevin’s legacy has become my motivation.  I dream of becoming a pediatric psychiatrist, and Kevin’s inspiring accomplishments encourage me to focus on my goal.  Becoming a doctor is a difficult career path, but the fact that my brother could transform from a boy in a wheelchair to one of the best football players on his team motivates me to view the future in an optimistic light.  I want to be a pediatric psychiatrist to care for and know inspiring children like Kevin.  My special connection and bond with children with disabilities has inspired me to assist my father in creating Kevin’s Foundation of Hope.  The Foundation’s mission is to encourage children with disabilities to accomplish the unimaginable.  

I believe in hope.  I believe that you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react.  I believe that God allows individuals to experience certain difficulties that they are strong enough to endure.  Although I worry about one day forgetting Kevin’s voice, I have days where I put on his big sweatshirt and instantly feel as if he is hugging me.  I know he is protecting me and that I will never forget him.  Even though I cannot touch or see Kevin, he will always be my hero, my inspiration, and my motivation.  


Rcl #6

In the novel, It’s What I Do, Addario expresses her conflicted feelings about the difficult work she does.  Although addario is passionate about her career as a photojournalist, she must immerse herself into the lives of the people in her photographs.  Through empathizing with foreigners, Addario must sacrifice the life of comfort that she is accustomed to living.

Before she traveled to Darfur, she left behind clothes, shoes, water bottles to decrease the amount of weight on her back.  She endured extreme heat while trudging through the desert with a heavy backpack.  Through this journey, Addario realized that the villagers were used to the heat and lack of water.  On the second day of her journey, without thinking, Addario thought that they could buy water bottles.  Her false assumptions clarify the need for privileged individuals to appreciate their blessings and to utilize their gift of being able to explain scientific research.

Sympathizing for the people she photographs encourages her to take her career as a photojournalist to the next level.  In order to relate to her audience, she views herself from the way that her readers would observe this situation.  She encourages us to sympathize and empathize with people from various cultural identities and backgrounds.  This new way of thinking about the world increases our knowledge about the world and our ability to problem solve in the future.

In my passion blog, I will emphasize the conflicts of the hard work that you have to put toward taking care of your dogs.  Even though dogs are playful and joyous animals, they require attention so that their basic needs are met.  Feeding, brushing their fur, walking them around the neighborhood, and taking them to the vet are some of the tasks that are required by dog owners.

Public Controversy Contract

Madeline: I am researching the history of the American Red Cross, and how the controversy was able to occur.  I will be looking into the different places that the red cross has donated to see if we can find a trend in where the controversial missing funds started to disappear.  This research will be important in explaining the controversy because by looking at the history of the American Red Cross, we will be able to see how something like this controversy could occur.
Alexis: I am researching the argument that the American Red Cross puts up a front of being a key asset to society through its relief efforts. However, this has been official investigations into where their donations actually go. It is slowly being revealed that there are excessive “administration costs”, where a chunk of the money goes to. There are even testimonies of former American Red Cross volunteers who said that this organization forced them to drive around empty trucks, instead of actually providing hurricane relief. This hidden side of greed is the main issue bringing this organization to people’s attention.
Kate: I am researching the counter argument for the belief that the American Red Cross is dishonest.  I have discovered that the American Red Cross is beneficial for helping with smaller disasters.  Only so much money can be used for helping with these catastrophes in the state of emergency.  In addition, the American Red Cross is known for efficiently providing immediate assistance such as offering temporary shelter, food, water, hygiene kits, and blankets.  This organization does not specialize in rebuilding destroyed the homes and schools of destroyed areas.
We will be working on all of the script writing, videotaping, and acting all together.
We will edit this project together after we are finished videotaping so that we can incorporate all of our ideas to finalize our project.

Controversy of the American Red Cross

Our public controversy topic involves the legitimacy of the American Red Cross, which people believe is an honest organization.  Although the American Red Cross strives to help victims of disasters,  this organization proves to be untruthful in its efforts to support individuals affected by specific tragedies.  For example, according to an article for the National Public Radio, individuals are uncertain about where the five hundred million dollars raised by the American Red Cross was used after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.  The American Red Cross promised to help the Haitians build permanent homes and provide clean water, but after five years there are neither new homes nor schools.

I am researching the counter argument for the belief that the American Red Cross proves itself as dishonest.  I have discovered that this organization is meant to help disasters that are small because otherwise they have extra money to spend in various ways.  According to the article, The Red Cross Won’t Save Houston, the American Red Cross is unaware of how they should spend the money that they raise. This extra money should be used by other charities, which is what staff members tried to accomplish.  Since only a small portion of money can be used to help individuals during the state of emergency, not all of the money raised to help this disaster was used efficiently.  In addition, this organization sent three members of its staff to Haiti after the earthquake occurred at first, which was not enough people to be in charge of rebuilding Haiti.  Even though buildings in Haiti needed to be reconstructed and developed, the American Red Cross is not known for rebuilding and redesigning destroyed areas.  The American Red Cross is known for providing immediate help after catastrophes such as offering blankets, temporary shelter, or hygiene kits.

RCL #9 TED talk Script Draft

Topic: Human Trafficking
Purpose: The purpose is to increase awareness for human trafficking, which causes human beings to believe that they lack free will.
Thesis Statement: Young adults who have experienced the trauma of human trafficking must be treated medically with respect.

Attention Strategy – Since I want to be a pediatrician, I want to learn about patient care especially patients who have endured hardships.  I want survivors of human trafficking to be treated equally with dignity and respect as survivors instead of pitied as victims of this problem.

Main Idea  – Survivors of human trafficking endure abuse and torture that deeply affects their mental, physical, and emotional health.
1. Victims experience poor living and working conditions, violence, abuse, malnutrition, and substance abuse.
2. From these major impacts on their lives, survivors deal with depression, anxiety, trust issues, and PTSD.
Main Idea – Medical Professionals are unaware of the warning signs of human trafficking, which prevents them from stopping this form of modern slavery.
1. In a study of Canadian medical school students, 88.8% of people were unaware of the signs and symptoms of human trafficking
2. 76% of these students thought that learning about these signs was important in medical school
Main Idea – The silence regarding human trafficking must end.
1. Sober houses should be created for survivors of human trafficking so that these young girls and women can support each other through their long journey of recovery.

Concluding Remark – Through raising awareness and breaking the trend of silence toward this tragic reality, survivors will encourage other survivors to strive for the recovery that they deserve.

Slides – The slides will emphasize the trauma that these young teenagers experience who are not extremely different from us.
Slide 1: A survivor of human trafficking’s story.
Slide 2: A survivor of human trafficking’s story.
Slide 3: A survivor of human trafficking’s story.

RCL #8 Paradigm Shift Rough Draft

The change of human trafficking considered as an international problem to a problem that also occurs within the United States is evident through laws established throughout history that focus on international and domestic human trafficking.  Many citizens of the United States only believe that individuals who have been trafficked to the United States are from foreign countries.  However, many victims of human trafficking are citizens of the United States.

  • International laws try to eliminate human trafficking
    • immoral actions and devastating effects
    • The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
      • Helps with returning children who have been trafficked to different countries.
      • Prohibits the trafficking of children for sexual purposes and labor.
      • Punishes people guilty of participating in the illegal act of human trafficking.
      • Individuals’ rights of parenting a child will be removed, if they are guilty of trafficking a child.
  • Domestic laws
    • Trafficking Victims Protection Act was created in 2000.
      • Emphasizes the need to end the plight of human trafficking to eliminate the trauma that these individuals endure.
      • Allows the State Department’s office to control trafficking and the President’s Interagency Task Force to control trafficking to initiate change for this issue.
    • Obama’s effort to raise awareness
      • Established January as human trafficking awareness month and January 11, 2011 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
      • On January 11, 2011, events occurred to raise awareness of the urgency to end human trafficking.  Alliance to End Human Trafficking started a campaign for the government to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to protect the women and children in our world.

Through the shift of public opinion about human trafficking, we are more aware of the severe consequences that this act has on women and children.  Women and children should not live in fear of their lives.

RCL # 7 It’s What I Do

Addario’s novel enable her readers to sympathize and empathize with the people suffering in her photos.  The images that Addario incorporates provide us with the ability to visualize these people’s reality.  The tears and facial expressions in these images delineate the harsh environment of some countries where women struggle to find equality and children liv in fear everyday.  Through the effect of these images, Addario’s readers try to understand the differences between individuals’ opinions of a normal life.
In the last section of images of Addario’s It’s What I Do, the thirteenth image depicts a young woman named, Kahindo, who was kidnapped by rwandan soldiers for three years.  While Kahindo was held captive, she was raped and had two children.  In this image, Kahindo and her children are looking out of the window in their home, while the light shines through.  Her children look content and innocent because they cannot understand the challenges that they will face in their life.  However, Kahindo looks out of her window with fear and concern in her eyes.  Since she has endured many hardships, Kahindo fears for the lives of her children.
The thirty-ninth image in the last section of images portrays a woman suffering from dehydration and starvation.  The young woman’s eyes are closed and her face shows the pain that she carries with her.  The children surrounding this woman are trying to feed her biscuits because they understand the challenge of living without food and water.  This image demonstrates the compassion of others through the love from these children, which is necessary in this time of turmoil.
I can incorporate images of my dogs playing and enjoying their lives to emphasize the significance of dogs in my life.   I can capture their warmth and optimistic energy through pictures of them running around and enjoying the outdoors.  Through these images of my dogs, I will demonstrate their ability to brighten anyone’s day.

Civic Artifact Essay Rough Draft

The UNICEF Child Abuse Commercial evokes pathos through the changes between the feelings of the audience members.  In the beginning, the young boy is excited about creating his halloween costume especially through his diligent work.  From viewing the wide smile on the boy’s face, the audience is filled with a sense of nostalgia about their joyful childhood memories.  The opening of the door to the boy’s room signifies his fear.  He is used to being alarmed because of the unexpected abuse he endures everyday.  As a terrified and scared boy, he bends into and hides in the “dresser” that he has made to emphasize his desire of wanting to be invisible.  Frightened by the future, the young boy tries to conceal his fate.  Toward the end of the commercial, the words,“There are children who play to be invisible,” appear on the screen.n The use of the word “invisible” causes the audience to empathize and sympathize with the young boy.

Along with engaging with the emotions of the commercial, it also demonstrates the impact of ethos toward the creator of the it, UNICEF.  UNICEF defends children’s rights of obtaining basic nutrition, education, immunization to fight diseases.  This Foundation emphasizes the necessity of children to be treated with respect, compassion, support, and love.  Children need advocates in their lives who they can depend on.

This message of this UNICEF commercial plays a role in Kairos.  The commercial occurs during Halloween, which indicates the boy’s desire and need to be accepted and loved by his family members.  Even during these holidays filled with joy, there are still people who suffer, so we must appreciate our blessings.  In order to enforce the dangers of emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse, parents must act upon this cause to save children.  Parents need to be encouraged to protect children from around the world, not just their own children.  Action is needed before this problem worsens.  According to Michelle Healy from USA Today, many statistics point toward child neglect being the main impact for abused children.  According to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine,  child neglect accounts for 75% of reported child abuse cases.  In addition, based on research from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, more than 3 million cases for child abuse and neglect involve around 6 million children.  In addition, according to Patterson, the largest risk factors for child abuse are parents abusing substances, a history of child abuse or neglect, and depression.  Based off of Molly Jenkin’s research for the American Humane Association, the increase in emotional and psychological abuse reports is related to society’s change of belief of what is considered to be abuse.  Jenkins claims that as more people accept emotional abuse as abuse, more people will report this type of serious abuse.

The UNICEF commercial emphasizes the ideology that abused and neglected children feel invisible.  This is evident in the effects of abuse which include: depression, violent tendencies, learning deficiencies, or suicidal thoughts.  The commonplaces relevant in this commercial delineate traditions that are not followed through families with a history of child abuse.  In many households, a child’s parent making or buying their Halloween costumes is a tradition.  However, in this commercial, the child is making his own costume.  The boy has to make his own costume, even though this should be a family tradition for the parents to initiate.  The costume is a drawer which represents his desire to hide from his life and the abuse.  Saint Mary’s Villa establishes the positive tradition of initiating these children into their families through family meetings.  Saint Mary’s Villa and the commercial emphasizes child’s need to be comforted and supported by family.  The commercial emphasizes the need of the child to be immersed in tradition of family.

Our civic duty is to protect these children from the horrors of child abuse.  Children should not live in fear everyday of their lives.  They deserve a childhood filled with joyous memories of playing with their family and friends.